Frequently Asked Questions about ABS.Stat Beta
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ABS.Stat - Beta
Q1. What is ABS.Stat?
ABS.Stat is an interactive, free online tool that presents datasets in a searchable, flexible and dynamic way. ABS.Stat presents users with two options, a web browser to view, query and download data and a web service to facilitate machine to machine communication via the use of the Statistical Data and Metadata Standard (SDMX). The web service enables other organisations to interface with ABS.Stat and customise the data in their own environments.
The ABS.Stat web interface allows you to:
- search and discover ABS statistics
- query, view and download data - choose pre-packaged data or customise data to your own requirements
- view valuable metadata alongside the data
- export data in a range of formats such as Excel and CSV as well as SDMX.
Access to ABS.Stat is open and free of charge.
Q2. When will it be released and what statistics will be available?
ABS.Stat - Beta was released publicly on 14 December 2012. ABS.Stat provides a range of data released by the ABS.
Data in this ABS.Stat is not necessarily the most up to date, you should check the ABS website (abs.gov.au) for the latest data. We will continue to load new datasets and update dataset series, as soon as possible after the embargo (11.30 am.) is lifted on the day the data is released.
This version does not include Australian financial year data or any quarterly data with reference periods other than the standard March, June, September and December quarters. For example, detailed quarterly Labour Force data are issued in February, May, August and November and will not be included initially.
However, future versions of ABS.Stat will include financial year and all quarterly datasets along with delivery of the latest data with embargo controls similar to the ABS website.
Q3. How will ABS.Stat differ from the current publication of statistics?
Currently ABS statistics are available on our website as static Excel spreadsheets, PDF and SuperTable SRD (summary record database) file downloads. In contrast, ABS.Stat provides a dynamic and direct method of accessing ABS data through the use of dynamic tables and intuitive search functionality. ABS.Stat also provides web services in SDMX format for automated machine-to-machine data exchange. Like the ABS Census products, CDATA online and Census TableBuilder, ABS.Stat provides:
- multi-dimensional aggregated data
- support for pre-packaged tables and dynamic self-service pick and choose tables
- extendable data visualisation
- SDMX web data services for automated and efficient machine-to-machine data exchange
Q4. Who will be able to use ABS.Stat?
Anyone can use ABS.Stat as it is aimed at all users and consumers of our data. ABS.Stat has features that support easy selection of and access to data for those whose needs are simple and straightforward. In addition it has features that support the needs of those with more advanced and complex requirements. To learn more about using ABS.Stat please refer to the ABS.Stat Web Browser User Guide.
Q5. Will ABS.Stat be free?
Yes. Like all the statistics available through our current dissemination methods including the ABS website, access to ABS.Stat will be free of charge.
Q6. Are there any special system requirements for ABS.Stat?
No. You will require the following standard internet access set-up:
- Broadband Internet access;
- Internet Browsing software: Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher, Safari 3.1 or higher.
Q7. How can I use and consume the ABS.Stat web services?
High-end data consumers can use ABS.Stat web services to automatically extract datasets via machine-to-machine communications over the internet. Establishing ABS.Stat web services requires some technical knowledge. Both REpresentational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) web services are available, and data can been retrieved in either XML or JSON format. Information about how establish web services is available on the ABS.Stat Web Services User Guide.
Q8. What is SDMX and why is it relevant to ABS.Stat?
SDMX, or Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange, is an initiative to foster common, open standards for the exchange of statistical information. It aims to foster common standards and guidelines for the exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata, where the two are presented together, with an emphasis on aggregated data. Inclusion of the metadata gives context to the data exchanged, and helps ensure that the information is immediately understandable and therefore more useful than if it was presented without the relevant metadata.
Common standards and guidelines created by the SDMX community enable easy access to statistical data and make data more comparable, more meaningful and generally more usable. For further information please see the SDMX website.
Q9. How can I learn more about using ABS.Stat?
The ABS.Stat Web Browser User Guide will help you to become familiar with the functionality and features of ABS.Stat.